A little while ago I posted about how I used to be in a part of a
cult church that was a very particular brand of conservative ultra right wing that used their faith to justify their bacon cheeseburger eating, war and not caring about the environment. I’ve found the same devout beliefs when it comes to those I knew who were very right wing ultra conservative, honestly most of the time I could not see a difference between their belief in Jesus and their belief in the neo conservative style politics. Since then, I was fortunate to leave that place and all of the circles that I was a part of, and fortunate to discover my own truths, and I am now a very loving, happy, peaceful atheist.
I also happen to be vegan now, and I know that in the circles I hung out in a few years ago, it would not have been possible. Animal eating, destroying the earth were rights, they were simply put here for our enjoyment and to use the way we wanted (so I was told over and over in various ways). Most of the people I hung out with could give you a few loosely connected verses from their holy book and justify it all. Later I would make the connection that these beliefs were tied so tight with their political beliefs. Somehow the likes of right wing media had convinced a group of people that their faith and some of the more right winged beliefs were one in the same. I am thankful that I got out and was able to see what was happening, leaving that all behind changed my life in every way possible, all for the good. For the most part, I have been rejected from those circles, and so I do not talk to anyone in them, and on the rare occasion that I do, if I mention anything about being vegan, eyes start to roll, and the mocking and teasing begins.
In my life now, I’ve decided that I’m living a life with as little negativity as I can, I simply don’t need it. And so I surround myself with loving, caring, peaceful and encouraging people.
When I wrote about the religious stuff last week, I was kind of shocked when I got a lot of e-mails which said “I’m vegan because I’m Christian!” or “I’m vegan because I’m Jewish” or Muslim, or Budhist, or Hindu, or Pagan, or Wiccan. Up until then I really never thought about people who were vegan because of their faith. As an atheist now, and very far removed from any kind of faith, I make all of my decisions with no higher power in mind, this does not mean that I do not respect those that do, but I find it interesting that some would take their holy book to justify something like meat eating, and others, reading the same exact book would take it to justify never eating meat.
This is definitely not my area of expertise. This blog, and he has a really well put together list of vegan/vegetarian religious resources that I’ve been reading through to understand more and more about people who tie their religion and their vegan beliefs together. I want to understand why different people are vegan, so that I can be able to converse (even if it is lightly) about it with people who begin to justify their animal eating ways with their faith. Or at the very least, I’d like to point them in the direction of some good resources or people that could converse with them. My intent is not to put down anyone’s belief, or challenge them to change their belief in the higher power they believe in. I know that there are some out there that take their direction from another source, and they would not make a decision like going vegan with out that sources approval.
All of that to say, I would love to hear from you, if you would be willing to comment on if you are vegan and are so in part because of the faith that you have.Or if you have some books, articles, movies that you would like to point to, that would also be helpful.